Interaction on the Frontier of the 16th-17th Century World Economy: Late Fort Ancient Hide Production and Exchange at the Hardin Site, Greenup County, Kentucky

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Pool


This study assesses the organization and intensity of hide processing from sequential occupations at the Late Fort Ancient (A.D. 1400-1680) Hardin Site located in the central Ohio Valley. Historical and archaeological sources were drawn on to develop expectations for production intensification: 1) an increase in production tool quantity, 2) an increase in production debris quantity, and 3) an increase in tool utilization intensity. Many Native groups situated on the periphery of early European colonies intensified hide production to meet demand generated by an emerging global trade in hides. As this economic activity intensified in the 16th and 17th centuries it incorporated and ever greater network of native communities. By documenting production intensification at the Hardin Site, this study evaluates the degree to which global markets incorporated regions beyond the colonial periphery before A.D. 1680. This study also examines the social dimensions of economic activity by asking who processed hides, who may have benefited from the products of this labor, and whether or not either of these were influenced by participation in the tumultuous interaction sphere of the eastern North American Contact Period.

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